Transformation of the East Bay Plaza at Munson Avenue and Airport Access Road at the eastern edge of Traverse City is one step closer to reality.
The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners has approved a brownfield redevelopment plan for the 10-acre property, which is home to Tom’s Food Market, Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, Schelde’s Grille and Spirits and other businesses.
The plaza, located near East Grand Traverse Bay, is also home to a contamination plume from an abandoned dry cleaning business.
Bryan Crough, community development director for the City of Traverse City, says the plan would clean the contamination while the shopping center is updated. Features being considered for the redeveloped plaza include buildings adjacent to Munson Avenue, a centralized parking area, affordable housing, and walkways that connect the development to surrounding neighborhoods.
“They can’t do anything until they deal with that plume,” Crough tells The Ticker.
Tom McIntyre, managing member of East Bay Plaza LLC, says redevelopment of the shopping center will be about a 10-year project and could see around 70,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space added to the site.
McIntyre says there are no plans for any of the tenants to close during the reconstruction.
Once completed, the redevelopment might include a bank and a pharmacy and should be more visually appealing than it is today.
“It’s at the eastern gateway to Traverse City,” McIntyre says. “We’re trying to create a commercial shopping center that meets the needs of people who live in a few mile radius.”
The plan still must be approved by the Brownfield Authority, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency, McIntyre said. The Traverse City Commission has already voted in favor of it.
The Brownfield plan is expected to cost nearly $2.5 million for environmental remediation and redevelopment of public spaces in the plaza. That money will be paid through taxes from the improved development.